THE July Cup is one of the biggest Flat races in the country – and this year's renewal looks to be an absolute cracker.
As ever, though, picking a winner is no mean feat.
Lucky for you, Templegate has gone through each of the horses one by one and delivered his pick at the bottom.
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ART POWER 3
TAKE Art. Cracking third in Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot when soft suited. Trip suits and has class but needs rain.
BRAN flake. Won only a minor race in past three years and held in Group 3 last time. Trip ideal but must roll back years.
EMARAATY ANA 1
ANA panner. Held in lesser races including behind Starman last time so needs to raise his game.
EXTRAVAGANT KID 3
KID gloves. Dubai Group 1 winner over trip and good third to Oxted in King’s Stand. Ground suits and has place claims again.
GARR no star. Yet to win beyond Listed level and held at Royal Ascot last time. Goes well here but has lot to find.
GLEN SHIEL 3
SOLID Shiel. Beat a few of these in the Champions Sprint at Ascot last season and went close there in the Diamond Jubilee. Best with cut so rain would help.
GLORIOUS JOURNEY 2
JOURNEY lost. Won well over 7f here last time but only eighth in this 12 months ago. Has quality but drop in trip a concern.
GOOD EFFORT 2
GOOD grief. Listed winner on AW and close in the Chipchase at Newcastle last time. Has won over course and distance but this looks a tall order.
MIGHTY Ox. Won this last year and best effort since when scorching home over 5f to take the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot. Liking for trip and track a big plus and he looks the one to beat again.
SUPER Star. Rising sprint star who was impressive when winning the Duke Of York Stakes. Has more to offer going up in class and he’ll be right there.
SUMMER over. Group 3 winner and struggled in this class at Royal Ascot. Goes well here but looks short of this level.
CHIL CHIL 3
CHIL out. Impressive Group 3 AW win last time and likes trip. Clocked good time so not out of this up in grade.
CREATIVE FORCE 4
FEEL Force. Keeps winning and took Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in style. Has more to offer and enough pace to figure back in trip here.
DRAGON SYMBOL 3
DRAGON fired. Unlucky to lose Commonwealth Cup in Stewards’ room at Royal Ascot when battling well over this trip. He can build on that but quicker ground is a slight worry.
LINE OF DEPARTURE 3
FINISH Line. Good Listed win over this trip at Salisbury last time and he likes it fast. This is much hotter but has place claims.
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METHOD madness. Stuck in mud at Haydock latest and likes this trip. Can improve but needs to in this class.
ROH in. Smooth Wokingham winner so trip and big field ideal. Has a Group 2 on his CV and enough quality to figure at this level.
SUP up. Won Group 1 Middle Park on Rowley Mile at two but struggled on comeback at Ascot. Speedy but best watched for now.
MISS AMULET 2
HIT and miss. Good Cheveley Park second as a juvenile and enjoyed a mile when third at the Breeders’ Cup. Drop in trip not sure to suit.
Templegate verdict: OXTED can defend his July Cup crown.
He was back to his brilliant best at Royal Ascot and can fight this out with Starman, Creative Force and Rohaan.
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